Community outpours opposition to emergency manager in Detroit
City faces $327 million budget deficit
The outpouring of opposition against Detroit’s possible emergency financial manager continued Monday when democratic legislators, pastors and the United Auto Workers voiced their disdain.
Inside the state office building in Detroit, where Gov. Rick Snyder, keeps an office, angry residents spoke out how they felt he was initiating a hostile takeover.
READ: Michigan governor declares financial emergency in Detroit
Mayoral candidate Fred Durhal linked the Snyder’s apparently decision to appoint an EFM to bank robbery.
"I feel like a guy in the bank who has had a gun stuck in his back by a robber who says, ‘Listen, I'm going help you but first I got to take all your money, take your wallet,’” Durhal said.
Protests are planned.
The Rev. Charles Williams of the National Action Network said one is already planned for Thursday at federal court. He also wants the attorney general to investigate the EFM law’s constitutionality.
“There is no type of emergency manager that we will be happy with,” he said. “There is no type of opportunity that you have to dismiss my vote and put anti-democratic policy into play and me not speak up and speak out.”
Fellow Rev. David Bullock told an emotional crowd during a press conference that an emergency manager’s track record is really non-existent.
“We will not allow the governor to destroy democracy and experiment on the people of Michigan with a public policy approach that has no successful track record,” he said.
The state review board issued a report saying the city faces a cash shortfall of more than $100 million by June 30, and that long-term liabilities, including unfunded pension liabilities, exceeded $14 billion. Detroit has been borrowing to continue operations and would have fallen about nearly $1 billion short last year if it hadn't issued new debt.
Special coverage: Detroit in crisis
Below is the statement from the United Auto Workers:
"The governor's announcement last week of his planned appointment of an emergency financial manager for Detroit was disheartening to say the least. Frankly, it is further evidence of his intent to erode democracy for the citizens of Michigan in general, and the city of Detroit in particular.
We are all deeply concerned about the financial problems facing our great city. Real leadership in a democracy is bringing parties together and crafting creative solutions as government, business and labor did in the auto industry crisis. This is difficult, tedious work. It is certainly easier to just dictate, but that is not the right way in a democratic society.
Governor Snyder claims there isn't one simple formula to solve the Motor City's problems. We agree, but dictating from Lansing is not the right formula.
Whatever happens with fixing Detroit's finances, our immediate concern and priority must be a more common-sense approach to improve public safety and focus on the city's basic responsibilities: safe streets, trash pickup, fighting fires and protecting those in need. Without starting with the basics, we cannot turn our great city or state around."